As September’s National Yoga Month comes to an end, we enter into October, which is known for something much less pleasant: Breast Cancer Awareness. I personally don’t like using the term “awareness” when it comes to cancer, because I think people are plenty aware. I really would prefer to see much more emphasis on prevention, because several recently published studies have linked breast cancer to chemicals found in processed foods and personal care products. So I guess I would prefer to spread “awareness” about prevention, not just early detection.
That doesn’t mean that early detection isn’t important. I feel that regular self exams, as well as certain diagnostic exams (breast thermography is showing promise as a safer and more accurate alternative to conventional and questionable mammograms) are important. I was recently made aware of an organization called Breast Oasis. They, in partnership with aboutplasticsurgery.com, have launched a new campaign to aid these efforts called Surgeons Give Support.
Have you ever changed bra sizes?
I know I have. Due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, weight gain and weight loss, I think I changed bra sizes about 4 times in a few short years. Bras are expensive—even if you get them at discount stores—and it pained me to get rid of ones that I had only worn a few times. The founder of Breast Oasis, a plastic surgeon named Dr. John Pederson, also noticed that his breast surgery patients ended up with many hardly-worn bras that they no longer could use. Instead of throwing them away, Dr. Pederson and his wife decided to put them to good use and donate them to women in need. They started with a local battered women’s shelter, and expanded from there. Believe it or not, it was the first time that shelter had gotten bra donations.
Breast Oasis, and Surgeons Give Support has grown, and now collects and donates bras to women in need nationwide. Furthermore, every donation kit gives each women instructions on how to do a breast self exam properly. Additionally, every woman who donates also has the opportunity to anonymously connect online with the recipient of her no-longer-needed bras to create community, lend encouragement, and potentially form lasting relationships.
It’s easy to get involved.
Visit the Breast Oasis website to find a participating surgeon near you and find out other ways you can get involved. You can also check out this short video to learn more about this effort.
*Bra image from TimesUnion.com